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Jewish Children's Attire from Sanaa, Yemen, 1940s

January 1, 2004-July 31, 2004
Location: Unspecified location
Curator: No'am Bar'am Ben-Yossef
Four traditional children's outfits, all belonging to one family, and a heavy silver necklace illustrate the lavish way in which Jewish children were adorned in Yemen. Made of precious materials such as velvet and gilt-silver jewelry, these pieces were intended not just as ornaments but also as protection against the evil eye, which their glittering wealth was thought to ward off. Since boys were considered more valuable and therefore more vulnerable than girls, they were dressed as girls in their first years in order to confuse the evil spirits. All of the items were acquired for the Israel Museum through the American Friends of the Israel Museum by Ellen and Jerome Stern, New York, in honor of their grandchild, Jordan Stern VanderVoort.